I have been hesitant to blog about my newest obsession. Penn Jillette. I’ve been watching the Showtime series “Bullsh!t” on youtube. I’ve been listening to his 90 minute weekly podcast,”Penn’s Sunday School”. I even watched the last two episodes of a show I never watch,”The Celebrity Apprentice”.
Penn Jillette is the more talkative side of Penn & Teller. Teller is a fantastic magician with remarkable sleight of hand skills. He is average male height of 5’9″, but when standing next to the larger than life Penn, he is perpetually known as “the little guy”. I have come to find rare video and a podcast interview where Teller speaks, and he is very well spoken and intelligent. I also learned that he was a High School Latin Teacher before teaming up with some other magicians and starting the partnership that has lasted decades.
I won’t shut up about things that Penn has said on his television shows or podcast. I believe that his voice speaks for both him and Teller, and I tend to agree with most everything he has to say.
My obsession reached a new level this week. For his ‘Apprentice’ show, he was challenged to create an ice cream flavor. He is in the final two against Trace Atkins, a country singer I have never heard of because I don’t listen to any country music. Both of the men are very tall. Have I ever mentioned that I am very tall? I am 6′ even – pretty tall for a lady. Just one more thing I have in common with him; I tower over most women. Anyway, I had to go buy the ice cream – I bought 8 pints of the ice cream. I ate more than half of it. I did share with my husband. It was amazing – he did get help from LaToya Jackson and Dennis Rodman. By the way, Rodman may have missed his calling. On the show he tweaked the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream and the saltiness of the chocolate swirl to perfection. Penn added these caramel filled chocolate turtles, but could not use the word ‘turtle’ in the ice cream name due to copyright laws. LaToya coined the name -
Vanilla Chocolate Magic Swertle.
Here is my freezer stocked with ice cream with Penn Jillette’s face on it. I saved one carton after polishing it off and rinsing with water. I probably expose myself to a good four hours a day to Penn’s voice. I remember when he was the announcer for Comedy Central. I still have record of it on my old and dusty ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000″ video tapes. (a previous obsession that no one understood). I have over a year of podcasts to catch up on. I have been listening for a few months, but my interest suddenly spiked this last week.
I think it started when I watched their first TV special on PBS, It is from the 80s and very funny. But then I watched some more magic specials and saw this moment. Penn’s expression was out of character from the arrogant boisterous loudmouth we know, he was sensitive. He was intense. It happens when he eats fire. This look on his face reads of a man of passion. A man not afraid to hold back, to give everything, to be serious. I saw the expression again when he was handling a gun in the audience after he and Teller performed their famous bullet catching trick. They aren’t real guns, well not functioning as normal guns, but they act like they are live, especially when in the audience. He had this look the longest during the special Don’t Try This at Home when he eats fire with a beautiful woman on a couch (fast forward to 17:04). It is as if they are enjoying a romantic evening together. I just love this face.